Goal oriented

Girls soccer takes on district after going undefeated in 2021


Christina Eckert

Captain Melyna Martinez prepares for a save in a preseason scrimmage against Alamo Heights.

Emma Siebold, Managing Editor

A year after an undefeated district run, girls soccer is back on the warpath.

Junior Sabrina Taber, district 27-6A’s 2021 Forward of the Year, continues her third season as the team’s leading goal scorer, with 10 goals and 8 assists in the preseason. The team will be led again by senior captain Melyna Martinez, 27-6A’s 2021 Goalkeeper of the Year and Angelo State Commit.

“I’m looking forward to being able to have the chance to be back-to-back district champs and go far in playoffs this year,” Martinez said. “The team chemistry is awesome. Everyone works hard and plays for each other.”

While the team went undefeated in district play last season, they fell in a close game to fourth-seeded Johnson in the first round of the postseason.

“We have prepared mentally and physically (since) the day after losing last year in the playoffs,” head coach Jason Adkins said. “We don’t focus on the past because you can’t change it, you can only learn from it and change the future.”

The team is led by four captains this season: Melyna Martinez, Abby Keefe, Aubrie Anton and Wrilyn Shippey. As a freshman last year, Shippey played as the Rangers’ starting center back.

The team plans to use their leadership, talent and chemistry to dominate their district, and later, the playoffs.

“I feel my role as captain is to help motivate our up-and-coming players to the next level,” Keefe said. “I want them to have the same love for the game that I and the other captains have.”

The Rangers have proven to be a formidable Class 6A team, earning preseason wins over Austin Westlake and reigning 5A state champion Dripping Springs. But this could be the team’s last season in the state’s highest classification – Smithson Valley is set to move down to 5A following the opening of Pieper High School.

“We plan on going deep in the playoffs, but (we’re) fully focused on the here and now, taking it one game at a time,” Adkins said.